It’s a positive indicator when an international break is considered an interruption rather than a reprieve, so it was heartening to see more than a handful of you actually missing Everton in your life last weekend.
Everton being – well, Everton – can completely 180 the fuck out of those positive vibes at any given time, but even more reason to savour that happy feeling when it arises. It’s the flicker of hope that each positive performance is the start of a great mechanism whirring that leads to a captain of ours lifting something shiny above their head and leading in a time of relative royal blue emotional prosperity, as fuck knows it’s been too long.
As a wise Red said however “Hope is a dangerous thing”. It will take more than 2 wins against so so Premier League opposition before I for one – dear reader – am ready to cast away this pessimistic cloak I wear for protection from Everton.
Can’t wait for the weekend’s game though, Bernard is bae.
The Leicester away game was a much needed fillip for the players, fans and Manager himself. There was finally a performance from the team where they looked cohesive, at times even progressive, and it’s been a while since we could say such a thing without it being desperate hyperbole. Progress is never a straight line however so when Palace head in their second this Sunday I hope that we can see this work in progress is gonna need some time yet, right before anyone over the age of 40 and with a questionable BMI screams at Tom Davies to fuck off, despite him being nowhere near that particular play.
Crystal Palace come to town with some confidence issues of their own, on the back of two defeats and an ill timed injury to their main man in Zaha. With the game being played at Goodison it is an appetising opportunity to put together 3 league wins in a row. Whilst not quite a gift horse drawing your attention to it’s tonsils it’s definitely playing with it’s hair and asking where you’re going to next. Don’t you fucking dare get that last train home on your own Everton.
Disappointingly it’s one of them rare previews where I feel no or very little malice towards the opposition, thus limiting the scope for abuse and collective character assassination. There’s nothing much in particular that turns me on about Palace but I just like the way they go about their shit. Their fans are well grounded whenever you interact with them and they’re dead into just focusing on being Crystal Palace for their own weekend enjoyment. I’m even willing to overlook some of the “ultra” tendencies I see with the hope of it being some hearty working class escapism.
Palace have also contributed to poking the great red unwashed in the eye at opportune moments, and further than that they even enjoy it. The abstract marvel that was Crystanbul aside I can remember Palace dicking them in an FA Cup semi back in the days when Liverpool just didn’t get beat in FA Cup semis with Alan Pardew the player, not the latter day mid life crisis ridden shithead, applying a cruel blow. Such manifestations can only endear Holmesdale’s finest to Evertonians.
There’s an identity and community to the Crystal Palace thing and I for one am pleased to see them hang around the Premier League diluting the rest of the dickheads who turn up to sing “is this a library” with all the self amusement of a 10 year old watching a Chubby Brown VHS in 1987.
Roy Hodgson is their Manager and as far as ex red squadron leaders go he’s tolerable, even gifting us the last Merseyside derby 3 points that we can remember. Fuck sake Everton at least fucking hurt them.
If you’re wondering which of their players will take the field against Everton, along with wry tactical nuances to watch out for then you’re tragically in the wrong place on the worldwide web.
Zaha – he’s injured which is sound as he’s a really good player.
Jordan Ayew – the above injury gives a chance to a striker who’s not yet scored for his club. We know the rest.
Connor Wickham – I don’t get people who grow a beard if the beard is bright red, unless they’re a pirate. Note “I have ginger friends.”
Meyer – high profile German wonderkid signed for giant wages and not yet scored a goal. We know the rest.
Schlupp – this week @nsno_83 nicely cast my mind back to when he tried to blag injury and, while the home fans were whistling for the ball to be put out of play, Everton instead done beautiful shithousery going up the other end and nabbing a late Coleman winner. This is my Everton, my beautiful Everton.
Townsend – has the exact head of a mahi-mahi and since I noticed this I just can’t take him seriously. Paint him green, throw him in the Pacific and you’ll have boat loads of bearded shit cap wearing Americans trying to yank him out.
Van Aanholt – legend has it that he’s merely a satellite caught in Allardyce’s vast gravity, rotating Allardyce once every season while collecting a signing on fee and twatting an easy cross deep into row MM.
Tomkins – if he walked onto a Victorian costume drama set you’d instantly distrust him.
Hennessey – he’s one earring away from looking the most Welsh person in the world and is usually good for at least one fucking superb save against Everton every time we play.
Onto Everton and it’s safe to assume that our Portuguese leader with the artisan sideburns will opt for a similar team as last time out. That will probably mean some more of Richarlison playing centre forward, looking for some easy centre half aggro and a slot or two. Walcott will play on the right and that beautiful wee generous toothed favela sea pixie Bernard starting on the left before his cruciate pings in minute 9. All Sigurdsson does is score goals, and that’s sound by me, he will play just behind them all. Don’t be surprised if later in games he gets pushed back into a centre mid 2 as it’s clear Silva has eyes on him developing into that role. Injuries dependent he may even start a game there before too long…
Our man Gana Gueye looks to be struggling with an injury which is troublesome as he’s our best midfielder. Which means Thomas Davies of West Derby will start there and be accompanied by one of Schneiderlin, McCarthy or Gomes. The latter two recovering from injury suggests they’ll get any forthcoming game time from the bench.
That £28 million Colombian is also getting himself fit but there’s no need to upset the burgeoning Keane and Zouma apple cart just yet. The increasingly popular Digne and Kirkdale’s JJ Kenny playing full back. It feels mad getting to nearly 2019 before an Everton Manager has found a way of neither Jagielka or Baines being an instant pick, much love to them both. In goal you’ll find “England’s” Jordan Pickford who really doesn’t give a fuck what you or your mate thinks of him and his antics.
This game initiates a six game pattern of winnable home game followed by twat of an away game in which anything more than 10 points gained would perhaps credit something worthwhile happening in the waters at Goodison. After what seems like an arduous slog in the recent history of Everton, getting excited about weekends again would maybe invoke an identity crisis amongst us that would burn out even Bellingcat’s head. Which bookends this preview rather pleasantly.
Until next time. Fucking into them blues.